‘The Terror: Infamy’ Star Kiki Sukezane Talks Her Character’s ‘Heavy’ Storyline, Working With George Takei

The Terror: Infamy, the second installment of AMC’s popular anthology series, is spinning a ghost story set against the backdrop of WWII and America’s Japanese internment camps, and series star Kiki Sukezane is taking center stage. In the series, Sukezane portrays Yuko Tanabe, a ghostly figure, or yurei, who once traveled from Japan to Terminal Island and now haunts the characters in the current timeline. Stepping into the shoes of a character who is haunted for more reasons than just her status as a ghost was no easy feat, Sukezane told PopCulture.com.

“Yuko moved to L.A. when she was 19 from Japan and had such a tough life back in Japan and also on Terminal Island. She had a hard life and now she’s back haunting people,” Sukezane said of her character. “She has a history. She was a picture bride, she came to L.A. as a picture bride...Yuko's storyline is so real and has a lot of Japanese culture in it...I had a really good time, but also a really hard time to work her scenes, because inside Yuko’s past is such a heavy storyline.”

Yuko’s storyline is an important one, though, as the character does more than just chill up some heart-racing scares that linger even after the scene ends.

“Yuko is like karma. Everybody in the series has experience with Yuko and [experiences] karma for what they’ve done. Yuko is also experiencing that karma as well,” Sukezane explained, adding that her character embodies the theme of not wanting to “forget about your past or ignore your past.”

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(Photo: Hudson Taylor)

Yuko isn’t the only part of The Terror: Infamy that has had an impact on Sukezane. Along with the actress, the AMC series also stars a number of other big names, including George Takei, who Sukezane says working with was like a dream come true.

“I was so honored to be working with him. It’s really, really, cool that I got to work with him,” Sukezane said, adding that she had just missed the chance to work with the renowned actor in the past. “I was in Heroes Reborn, and George was in Heroes, but we didn’t have any scenes together. So this time I’m so excited to work with him. I met him at the reading for the first time, and he was such a nice guy.

Sukezane said that seeing Takei in action was awe-inspiring, because along with doing 100 pushups everyday “straight through, no stopping,” he brought life to the bitter cold Vancouver set.

“I was so surprised, because he works without complaining. It’s so cold outside and [we have] long hours, and he had no complaints. He was just trying to have fun on set,” she said.

While The Terror: Infamy is set to air its fifth episode, “Shatter Like a Pearl” on Monday, Sept. 9 and wrap up with the season finale, “Into the Afterlife” just weeks later on Oct. 14, Sukezane has plenty coming up to keep her busy. The actress, whose other credits include Lost In Space, The Yokai King, and Westworld, can next be seen starring opposite Alicia Vikander in Netflix’s upcoming Tokyo-set female-driven noir thriller Earthquake Bird.

Based on Susanna Jones’ novel The Earthquake Bird, the film tells the story of young female expat Lucy Fly (Vikander), who is suspected of murder after her friend goes missing in the midst of a tumultuous love triangle with a local photographer. Sukezane portrays Natsuko, an “outgoing, live in the moment” woman in 1989 Tokyo.

“We shot that film before I was shooting The Terror. We shot pretty much everything in Japan. It was really cool. We went to the island and we shot a love scene at Ryokan, which is an old traditional hotel in Japan,” Sukezane recalled. “So it was really, really fun shooting the film and I just really enjoyed playing her.”

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The film is among the Netflix originals slated for a theatrical release. It will get a two-week theatrical release starting Nov. 1 before debuting Nov. 15 on the streaming platform.

New episodes of The Terror: Infamy air Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.